There comes a moment when we suddenly realize that being a full-time employee and part-time mom, is not how we would love to spend those charming years of our family lives. So we quit our jobs, ignoring peoples' hurtful remarks about burying our lives in the four walls and try to adapt to our new roles as full-time moms and house-keepers. The honeymoon of everyday cozy routine begins. We prepare thoughtful dinners, read millions of stories to our precious, happy kids, spend joyful time nursing and cuddling with our very little ones and make sure we have enough free time to post our warm and beautiful lives on facebook. However, this dreamy life is not meant to last for long. Unfortunately, without the strong foundation and with all the publicity supporting the "business-lady" princess image, that cozy-rosy home life is bound to be very soon dead and reborn into the angry and stressful existence, constantly resenting the everyday boring routine. Precious kids will become little monsters, who live with the basic goal to make their mom's life hell, while thoughtful home and cooking a burden that can be done by anyone without all those exceptional skills and diplomas that we had spent our lives earning. So, the same cycle begins again.....searching for a full-time job that we deserve and hiring a maid (that we also deserve).
We are like foreigners who left their home country long time ago, and now don't feel they belong neither to their homeland nor to their new home. Because, being at work, no matter how satisfying our job is, we would always be half-present with bigger part of our hearts working on the motherly matters of our deserted homes. Paradoxically though, staying home, our brains will lone for the busyness and style of out-of-home "decent" jobs. No matter what way we decide to go, we can never reach self-satisfaction and our lives never seem to be perfect, even if our facebook posts suggest otherwise. We can accept our fates, of course, be it a full-time employee, who is missing on her kids' amazing and so quickly vanishing growing world or a full-time mom, who is missing on golden opportunities of the modern society. However, accepting something without being really convinced is like a silent volcano waiting to explode. When things are smooth, life is smooth, but when not.....life can get really bad and pointless.
Where is the real problem lies? What is that we all we all search for? To me it's an image. Simply an image that we try to upload. Business image is great, but it makes us leave our kids and homes behind. Also it is very difficult to sustain. Home-stay mom image is not so great and doesn't not appeal for us. There are other images that many mothers fall into easily as well. For example, many moms adore to be called "shiny kitchen mom". Those women usually spent their lives learning the valuable skills of home maintenance, therefore image of the "shiny kitchen mom" is in craved in their heads. When I tried to suggest to them to do something else than wiping floors three times a day, they would look at me in surprise and sign. Are they happy the way they are? I really don't think so. It is interesting to note, however, that although "shiny kitchen moms" are usually under educated kind of women, some women with higher education manage to fall into that category as well, except that in their case they are wealthy enough to hire someone else to shine their kitchen for them. The problem is that no matter what image we decide to wear it is still an image and if the image is lost, we are lost and our whole life becomes a mess.
Let's rewind a little bit to the day our baby was born. What did we feel? How did we imagine our life would be from that moment on? Did the image of a "business lady" directly popped out from the back of our minds? Or was our imagination taken to the piles of laundry and unwashed dishes? Or was they mourning thoughts about burring our precious degrees inside the four cement walls? I bet we didn't think of all that! All we could see and feel was the warmness of the miracle of motherhood, that priceless gift that we were just given; we felt dissolved in the moment of absolute love. Image of a mother, that has been cherished through ages, is fading away with shocking speed. We are continuously being reminded that we can not be mothers by ourselves. We constantly need urgent help of the modern industry to give birth, feed and raise our children. From epidurals, that make sure we deliver our babies, to the up-to-date educational system that guarantees our kids will know how to write and count, our lives are structured in a way that role of a mother is ironically rendered to wiping floors or yawning in from of the computer screen. Therefore, image of a mother, warm, earthy force that gives and sustains life has been broken into pitiful pieces of a woman who can barely take care of her own needs. It is not at all surprising then, that being given the most noble image ever, we start our motherhood journey by searching for a different one.
The whole social system as it is today does its best to make us believe that image of a mother is not worth as an image. It's not fashionable, cause it doesn't sustain the country's economy. Nevertheless, it is the most beautiful image that we have. The problem is that due to our up-side-down world we see it from a different perspective. True image of a mother lies in her child's innocent eyes, in the eyes of her newborn life. It is that simple and pure heart that has been forgotten as we grew on. It is that first laugh and those first tears that flow freely, without the fear of being rejected. It is there and has always been there, inside of us, waiting to be reborn once again. Can we make friends with that child inside and see motherhood through the eyes of our children? Can we open our hearts to the exciting opportunity that life has given us? Maybe it's hard, but it's worth trying. And to me, it's the most challenging part of motherhood.